We can do better
Mon Nov 06, 2006 at 06:07:29 PM PST
Tomorrow isn't just about getting out the vote, it's about protecting the vote as well. Election protection groups are launching a 50-state army of citizens tomorrow to ensure that no illegal practices occur, or, if they do occur, that such crimes are documented so that lawbreakers can be held accountable. The Wall Street Journal has more:
When Americans go to vote tomorrow, a new breed of activist will be on guard, monitoring polling stations for everything from voting-machine glitches to long lines to registration snafus.
Energized by disputed results in 2000 and 2004, they have left jobs as music conductors, real-estate agents and software engineers to form groups that expect to turn out thousands of volunteers who don't trust the country's ability to count its votes and have decided to do something about it.
"This is going to be the most heavily watched election in history," predicts Marybeth Kuznik, who founded a group called VotePA after the 2004 election to monitor voting issues in Pennsylvania.
And it's not just citizens who are going to be monitoring the polls. The Department of Justice is stepping up as well:
Justice to monitor polls
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Justice Department announced Monday it is deploying more than 850 federal personnel to 69 jurisdictions in 22 states to watch for potential federal violations in tomorrow's midterm elections.
The contingent includes more than 500 trained federal observers from the Office of Personnel Management to areas mostly in the Deep South and Southwest, which have been certified by federal courts or the Attorney General under the Civil Rights Act of 1965.
In addition more than 350 Civil Rights Division lawyers and other personnel from the Justice Department are being dispatched to locations throughout the country where authorities have reason to believe there is a potential for federal voting violations.
Several sites will serve as clearinghouses for election issues tomorrow. ProtectOurVotes.org is already on the robocall story. Video The Vote and Veek the Vote are camera-ready. If you have a website, you can add a "Tell Your Voting Story" widget, a tool that makes reporting election shenanigans a snap.
Election incidents can also be reported to several national hotlines. Those reported to 1-866-OUR-VOTE will be catalogued in the Election Incident Reporting System (check out the incident map, which already reflects several incidents across the nation). Problems with voting machines can also be reported by calling 1-888-SAV-VOTE (1-888-728-8683). You can also report incidents through the DNC by calling 1-888-DEM VOTE or by filling out this online form.
Don't be shy. If you witness something at your polling place that seems off, report it. If your friends or family tell you about dirty tricks or suppression tactics, urge them to report it. Because this time around, we're not going to let them get away with anything.
Be prepared. Be vigilant. And let's do everything we can to ensure that no citizen is denied his or her right to vote.
ALREADY A STORY: Republicans are blanketing key Congressional districts with annoying robo calls. Listen to one here. These calls may result in post-election fines because they do not properly identify themselves early in the script and may also be violating caller id requirements.
NOT YET A STORY: These calls may be a coordinated effort to suppress the vote. What's the difference between annoying robo calls and voter suppression? Many voters are reporting that the robo callers are calling back immediately when they hang up. The first words of the robo calls are "Hi, I'm calling with information about [Democratic Candidate's Name]..." followed by a short pause. Therefore, voters receiving these calls could think they are being called repeatedly by the Democratic campaign or a group supporting the campaign.
MISSING PIECE: For this to break through, there needs to be visual evidence that voters are being called back immediately. Bloggers: please tell your readers to get video cameras ready and start rolling when the phone rings. Use the speaker phone so that the call can be heard. We need just one example of that up on YouTube and VideoTheVote.com.
Even better would be emails leaked from the robo call house responsible (or any robo call house for that matter) that offer the service or mention the strategy in question.
(Thanks TPMMuckraker & G2Geek.)
posted by Steve @ 8:38:00 PM